If you’ve just upgraded to Windows 11 and are already regretting your actions, good news: you might be able to revert back to Windows 10 quite easily, but the easiest method has a catch. Microsoft says the downgrade must take place within 10 days and a number of files – including a folder called “windows.old” – must be present on the system. The company also warns users that any files created after the upgrade may be lost during the downgrade process, so it’s important to back up anything recent that you don’t want to lose. If you meet the requirements, the downgrade process is as simple as opening Settings, selecting System, then System Recovery, then back out. Make sure your PC or laptop stays plugged in throughout the process, then sit back and let Windows do its thing. When the process is complete, you’ll likely have a clean install of Windows 10 and may need to reconfigure your settings, install updates, and grab all your favorite programs.
If your new PC arrived with Windows 11, the necessary downgrade files are missing, or the 10-day deadline has passed, don’t panic: you can still downgrade, it’s just a bit more complicated. Instead of restoring your version of Windows with one click, you will have to perform a clean installation of Windows 10. This involves downloading the necessary files from Microsoft, running the installer and, ironically, selecting the option that says “Update now.” Microsoft also offers support for Windows 10 until October 2025, so if you go back, you’ll have plenty of time to wait for Windows 11 to become functional.